And it will be like a sign on your hand and a symbol on your forehead that the Lord brought us out of Egypt with his mighty hand.’

“…the LORD has done this, and it is marvellous in our eyes” (Psalm 118:23).

It may be stating the obvious but I still want to highlight it. There is no sense here of, ‘Look what I did son.’

Nor is it a case of, ‘See how we busted our way out of Egypt and showed those tyrants a thing or two!’

No, listen…

“…the Lord brought us out…”

When I became assistant pastor in one church, I was also given the job of being youth leader. The youth group had fallen on hard times. They were without a leader, and I suppose what I did was to love them, feed them, and keep bringing them together. Over a period of a little more than two years I think something good began to be built. But it was after I left that significant growth occurred. Some dear friends, Dave and Ruth, a godly married couple, took on the leadership mantle. They were kind enough to invite me back to speak to the group on several occasions. The first time I witnessed what was happening, I  told Dave how thrilled I was. He just looked at me with a beaming smile, and said so sincerely, ‘It is the Lord’s doing and it is marvellous in our eyes.’

In that one sentence, in which there was not a trace of mock modesty, he gave a lesson in humility I’ve never forgotten. He and Ruth were two of the finest Christian youth leaders I have ever known. They were in it heart and soul. But they gave all the glory to God. They were highly successful, but they knew who gives the growth.

“So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who makes things grow” (1 Corinthians 3:7).

Lee Eclov, a retired pastor writing to other pastors, said this in a recent article:

“The grain farmers I grew up among would stand outside church on Sundays and say things like, “If we don’t get some rain the corn’s really going to be in trouble.” Or “A couple more weeks and the oats will be ready.” But no matter how hard they worked, I never once heard them take credit for their crops. No sensible farmer waits at the grain elevator while his harvest is weighed and thinks, “I did an amazing job this year.” What he does is marvel again at the miracle of land and seed and harvest, and give thanks.

Do your job, but remember, it’s God who makes his grain grow.”